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Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!

The stories in our magazine, in part, reflect changes—in research, education, and how our alumni engage the world. But this issue reflects a change that underlies every story you read.

Lignin is nature’s plastic. It gives plants the ability to stand tall and to withstand weather, insects, and diseases. But while lignin is useful for plants, it’s an obstacle to humans who want to use cellulose—a type of sugar found in plant cells that is tightly interwoven with lignin—to make biofuels.

Managing bacteria and other microorganisms in the body, rather than just fighting them, may lead to better health and a stronger immune system, according to Eric Harvill, professor of microbiology and infectious disease.

David Geiser, professor of plant pathology and environmental microbiology, talks to Steve Williams about Fusarium.

The Jordan Soil Fertility Plots were the oldest extensive fertility plots in North America used to determine the best lime and fertilizer conditions for growing crops profitably.

For many crops in Pennsylvania, particularly no-till grain crops, slugs are a serious pest.

While a national search for a permanent replacement is under way, Barbara Christ has been named interim dean of the college.

Andrew Read and Matthew Thomas have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mark Brennan will hold the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development in the college.

Team Green, a five-student team, won the 2012 AG Springboard Competition for developing technology for hydroponics greenhouses for spatially constrained environments using discarded shipping containers.

Interim Dean Christ announced the department chairs that will help lead the college to meet new demands.

Wayne Martenas chronicles the events that led to his becoming an agricultural engineer and executive for a top agricultural equipment manufacturer.

Seven volunteer Master Gardeners share meals from their community garden every week.

While bringing people together through a shared hobby, community gardening teaches food literacy, respect for food, and the challenges of growing it.

Penn State researchers hope to develop an app that can predict where and how quickly the barley yellow dwarf virus will spread in grain fields.

Wood-destroying Pests, a new publication offered by Penn State Extension's Pesticide Education Program, advises on the prevention and control of infestations of wood-destroying insects.

Penn State Extension instructors have launched AgSafety4u to help ensure that agricultural workers stay safe.

Penn State Extension offers practical how-to education and problem-solving assistance to help people make informed decisions.

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens found in pork is the most recent food scare, but is manageable by proper food handling and cooking.